Student Life

Student Watch

A pillow and a cell phone? Check. Lumber and tools to build a loft and a George Foreman grill to make burgers before football games? Not allowed.

The cargo stuffed into minivans and SUVs delivering new freshmen students and their belongings as they move into residence halls these days looks a bit different from what filled the station wagons and pickups that brought students to campus in past decades.

Typewriters and record players went the way of the dinosaurs years ago, replaced by personal computers and CD players. Now it’s flash drives rather than floppy discs, and MP3 players and iPods rather than stereo systems. Landline telephone service is no longer provided (cells only, please) and loft components are now provided in every room, though students and their parents still have to figure out how to assemble them.

Some things haven’t changed. University Housing provides vacuums to borrow, and each room still comes with a refrigerator, though it’s up to students to clean it out from time to time. And you still have to bring size extra-long sheets to fit the mattresses.

Starting next year, students might have to call home for money if they need additional supplies as the semester wears on. A new federal law will bar anyone under twenty-one from getting a credit card without a parent co-signing the application.

On Wisconsin has one other practical tip for the incoming class of 2013: bring more than a pair of flip-flops for footwear. It’s a big campus, and it also gets a bit cold here.

Published in the Fall 2009 issue


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